"Dealing With Weakness"
Dealing with weakness (1)
"My power shows up best in weak people." 2 Corinthians 12:9 TLB
Good news: God loves to use weak people! If He only used perfect ones nothing would ever get done. Your greatest weakness can actually become your greatest weapon, if you allow it to drive you closer to the Lord. So what prevents that? Pride! It's pride that makes us deny our weakness, defend it, excuse it or resent it. Jesus' first beatitude reads: "You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule" (Mt 5:3 TM).
Now, you're not supposed to accept your character weaknesses and say: "Well, I guess that's just the way I am." No, you're supposed to work on them and overcome them by God's help.
But Paul spoke of a different kind of weakness: "a thorn" (2Co 12:7). This could be physical, such as a chronic illness or disability. It could be emotional, such as a painful memory or hereditary disposition. It could be intellectual. After all, we're not all super bright or talented. When you consider your limitations you may be tempted to conclude: "God could never use me." Wrong! God is never limited by your limitations; in fact, He enjoys putting His great power into ordinary containers. Paul writes: "We are like clay jars in which this treasure is stored. The real power comes from God and not from us" (2Co 4:7 CEV). Like common pottery, fragile, flawed and easily broken, God will use us if we'll only allow Him to work through us. That way, there's no doubt about who gets the credit!
Dealing With Weakness (2)
"I am glad to boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ may work through me." 2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT
At first this verse doesn't seem to make sense. We want to be freed from our weaknesses, not boast about them! But Paul gives us several reasons you may not have considered:
(1) Your weakness prevents arrogance. Paul writes: "So I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations" (2 Co 12:7 TM). You'll often find a major weakness attached to a major strength, acting as a governor to keep us from getting exalted, or running ahead of God. Gideon chose 32,000 men to fight the Mideonites. But God reduced his numbers to 300, making the odds 450 to 1. Why? So that Israel would know that it was God's power and not their own that saved them.
(2) Your weakness produces fellowship. While strength can breed an independent spirit ("I don't need anybody else"), our weakness shows us how much we need each other. When we weave the weak strands of our lives together, a rope of great strength is created. Vance Havner said: "Christians, like snowflakes, are frail, but when they stick together they can stop traffic."
(3) Your weakness creates compassion and ministry to others. People actually find healing in your wounds. Your greatest message and your most effective ministry will usually come out of your most difficult experiences. The things you're most embarrassed about, most ashamed of, most reluctant to share, are the very tools God can use most powerfully to help others.
Dealing With Weakness (3)
"Their weakness was turned to strength." Hebrews 11:34 NLT
Hudson Taylor said: "All God's giants were weak people." Moses' weakness was his temper, yet God worked on him until we read: "Moses was a quietly humble man, more so than anyone living on earth" (Nu 12:3 TM). Gideon's weakness was low self-esteem. Yet God transformed him into a mighty man of valor" (Jdg 6:12). Abraham's weakness was fear. Not once, but twice he lied and said his wife was his sister in order to save his neck. Yet God transformed him into "The...father of those who have faith" (Ro 4:11 NLT). When God got through with David, the adulterer, he called him: "A man after mine own heart" (Acts 13: 22 NLT). Listen: "It would take too long to recount the stories of...Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets...Their weakness was turned to strength" (Heb 11:32-34 NLT).
If all people see are your strengths, they get discouraged and think: "Well, good for you, but I'll never be able to do that." But when they see God using you in spite of your struggles, it encourages them to think: "Maybe God can use me too!"
At some point in your life you must decide whether you want to impress people or influence them! You can impress them from a distance, but you must get close to influence them. When you do that they'll be able to see your flaws. But that's okay: your most essential quality is not perfection, its credibility. And how do you build credibility? Not by pretending to be perfect, but by being honest!
Top of page
Return to Praise and Worship Home Page